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Mike Reilly - The voice of Ironman

Mike Reilly - The voice of Ironman

Episode 159: Mike Reilly - The voice of Ironman

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"The Greg Bennett Show"

In this episode of The Greg Bennett Show, Greg chats with icon and a legend in the world of Triathlon and endurance sports Mike Reilly.

Mike has done announcing and television for Running and Triathlon events worldwide since the late 70’s. He’s had a microphone in his hands for 1000’s endurance events.

Mike Reilly is best known as the Voice of Ironman and has announced 100s of Ironman events around the world, including 33 Kona Ironman World Championships. 100’s of thousands of triathletes worldwide have heard his famous phrase “You are an Ironman!” and he has called millions of athletes across a finish line.

An IRONMAN Hall of Fame, USA Triathlon Hall of Fame member and Running USA Hall of Champions. He’s a a world-renowned race announcer, commentator, podcast host “Find your finish line podcast” and author to his inspirational book “Finding my voice.”

Mike called his final race, Dec 10, 2022 at Ironman New Zealand. Over 40 years of calling events… this man is truly an Ironman!


3:40 - Interview with Mike Reilly begins

6:49 - Mike explains how he came to the decision to retire and the thought process involved.

People identify me for what I've done ... but I identify myself by my family

10:37 - Walking away from his last race call in Kona was incredibly special and emotional. Mike explains how he felt and how it played out.

It's not just you saying goodbye to the sport, it's the sport saying goodbye to you

15:11 - Are athletes still gonna hear the phrase "YOU are an Ironman"?

17:25 - It all started for Mike Reilly in San Diego, CA, where Mike found his passion for endurance sports while training and racing local events in Southern California. He ran the first of twelve marathons in 1978 and competed in his first triathlon in 1979. That was the same year he picked up a microphone for the first time. Two years later he announced the first ever professional triathlon in Solana Beach, CA. He also called the first ten years of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, the most popular marathon series in the world.

At the end I just said to myself ... it's just time!

22:00 - Mike explains the story on how he called his first race. It’s about much more than standing with a microphone calling out finishers’ names. Mike’s 19-hour day typically starts before 5:00 am, where he presides over the swim-to-bike transition area as athletes rack their cycles and make last-minute adjustments. He provides critical information about late-breaking changes, course conditions, and the minute-by-minute schedule necessary to get the swim off to a smooth start. He’s then responsible for guiding the athletes into the water and providing instructions about the particulars of the starting protocol, including “gentle guidance” about their positioning. After the swim gets underway, Mike keeps spectators informed about the relative positions of the leaders, and then announces the names of athletes as they complete the swim and head out on the bike portion. During the day, Mike positions himself in a variety of locations to watch the athletes as they come in on the bike and hit various spots on the run course, constantly updating the spectators as to the leaderboard as well as conditions out on the course. Then it’s over to the finish line, where Mike will spend over nine hours bringing in every athlete in the race, providing nuggets of personal information about as many of them as it’s possible to squeeze in. During the last hour or so of the race, as the clock winds down to the 17-hour cutoff mark, Mike will come down from the announcing booth and move right next to the finish line. At that point he’ll do whatever it takes to keep the crowd energized and the last, struggling finishers motivated to make the cutoff: He’ll shout, dance, wave a towel, and even run into the finishing chute to run alongside exhausted athletes and shout encouragement. When they step across the line, they’re treated to the sweetest sound in the sport: Mike yelling “You are an IRONMAN!” at the top of his lungs, as he’s already done as many as 2,500 times that day.

27:45 - Mike tells the story about how the phrase "You are an Ironman" came about.

33:29 - Mike's Instagram message announcing his retirement.

Don't worry, you'll be an Ironman tomorrow ...

33:29 - Mike's Instagram message announcing his retirement.

35:59 - Mike has written a phenomenal book; Finding My Voice with stories from his career. He shares a few of the most memorable stories with us.

40:31 - The finish line at an Ironman is one of the most 'alive' places you can every experience. Mike and Greg discuss the stories and metaphors for life that exist around completing an Ironman race.

43:03 - Mike describes some of the low moments where he may have said things on mic that he now feels was not appropriate.

You can't do that kind of stuff when you are publicly on a microphone

50:23 - Mike and Greg discuss the process of writing the book - Book: Finding My Voice

54:57 - Be sure to subscribe and listen to Mik'e podcast - Find Your Finish Line

58:30 - Mike and Greg discuss the sport of triathlon ... where it is now, where it's come from, and where they see it going in the future.

Competition can only make you greater

1:04:11 - Mike and Greg wrap up with some fun rapid fire questions;

  1. One book you would recommend? The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay

  2. Two most-used apps on your phone?

  3. What 3 people would you want to have dinner with (nonfamily, living or dead)?

  4. GOAT triathlete of all time?

  5. Out of 10, how cool are you?

  6. Who would you want to play a movie of your life?

  7. Which decade of music is the best?

  8. Where is somewhere you haven’t been, you’d like to go?

  9. Greatest movie of all time? On the Waterfront with Marlon Brando

1:12:52 - Interview concludes


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Bennett Endurance is a high-performance consulting business for athletes of all ages and abilities and non-athletes wanting to optimize their performances, health, wellbeing, and longevity.


With a combined 50 years of racing as professional athletes, 30 years as coaches and 30 years as athlete managers, Bennett Endurance has the knowledge, experience, and professionalism for intimate one-to-one, small group consultations, and mastermind groups. Helping you thrive and to live your high-performance life. Find out more >


Passion and Purpose. Greg Bennett is driven and cares deeply about optimizing and living a high-performance life. His passion will cause others to be inspired to optimize their own lives. Greg visibly enjoys entertaining his audience with incredible stories of finding his passion, aligning that passion with his strengths, and taking control of his own life. Be ready to be inspired and entertained. You will leave with the tools and tactics to go live your own high-performance life. Find out more >


An interview podcast show hosted by Greg Bennett. Greg interviews the world’s greatest Athletes, Entrepreneur’s and Executives diving deep into each guest’s life. Probing questions into each guests’ passions, strengths, sleep patterns, teams, nutrition, and everything else in between. These interviews are entertaining, inspiring, and educational. The lessons learned will give you the tools and tactics to optimize your life so you can live your High-performance life. Find out more >

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